Sustainable Communities Network Quarterly Meeting Minutes – September 2017

Sustainable Communities Network – September Meeting
9/7/17                       Location: Evergreen Credit Union

Attendees: R. Kasperek, J. Conrad, L. Stoll, C. Kasimor, J. Knapp, K. Thunes


Approval of June Meeting Minutes: Motion made by Thunes and seconded by Conrad.

SCN Website Updates: Kasperek informed the group that the Community Calendar page is functioning once more. Dates can be submitted to be put on the calendar. Kasperek also updated the Local Sustainability Organizations page including links to their websites and social media (if available). Sustainable Fox Valley needs to be removed as they disbanded.

Discussion was made about adding blurbs about the organizations and their sustainability journeys; Kasperek offered to update the website to include them if others would write them about their organizations.

Interest was expressed by the group to update pages such as Bee Keeping and Backyard Chicken ordinances; it was suggested “stance on sustainability” could be added by Knapp in order to incorporate decisions made about climate change and other topics, such as those recently undertaken by Appleton. Sustainability Plans could be linked to if a local municipality had one. Thunes knew of some but was unsure if they were made for the public. If these pages are updated, they need to be redesigned as the original grid format no longer fits on the new site.

Thunes and others mentioned the lack of social media presence SCN has; it was suggested SCN create a Facebook page to better promote the organization. Kasperek suggested LinkedIn as another possible way to market the group. Thunes thought it would be good to encourage and confirm that communities and members of the group are linking back to the SCN website on their pages so that the relationship is reciprocal. Knapp asked how interactive the SCN webpage was, and if we could not encourage more commenting and discussion.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Inventory: The group had general agreement that EVs and EV charging stations would be an appropriate topic for SCN to analyze and share information on. Stoll expressed concern over content in the upcoming State Budget that will impose fees on EV and Hybrid drivers; others reminded that EVs are only as clean as their utilities used. It was agreed that if EV Charging Stations were discussed, a narrative should be added that EV doesn’t always mean more environmentally friendly.

Sustainable Leaders Group’s How to Build a Sustainability Program: Kasperek and Knapp shared information about the upcoming event on September 27th and the accompanying student challenge. The student challenge will be themed on Zero Waste. Sustainability leaders are invited to attend in order to encourage students and help them cultivate ideas. Information can be found on the UW-O webpage, or you may contact Steve Dunn.

If you need an invite for the event, you may contact Kasperek, Knapp, or Thunes. Registration is $20.

Collaboration with New North: Knapp updated the group on the status of the possible collaboration. She (and others) feel that the Sustainability Leaders Group fills the gasp as a bridge between SCN and New North as there is enough member overlap.

Community Updates:
– Greenville/Sustain Greenville Electronics Recycling Outcome: Conrad updated the group on the results, considering it a success. It ran at the same time as the Sustain Greenville Farmer’s Market.
Live Green Oshkosh – September 9th
– Menasha Electronics Recycling – September 23rd
– Fox Crossing Electronics Recycling – October 21st
MREA Solar Energy Tour – October 7th
Fox Cities Heart Walk – September 30th – Knapp emphasized the importance of air quality on human health, and the importance of promoting clean air.
TedX Oshkosh – November 4th – Knapp brought up the event as one of the topics covered will be Climate Change.

 Call for other topics: Stoll reminded the group that the Fox Cities Greenways has been holding seed money for SCN and suggested we think of a use for it; it was suggested by Kasperek and others SCN looks towards putting together an Earth Day (and/or Week) event again. Knapp pointed out that 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (count down). A discussion was had on the easiest way to support a Fox Cities celebration of Earth Day with SCN maybe serving as an umbrella for the day.

Stoll asked if anyone had made Tree Inventory updates since the DNR assessment years ago as Menasha recently completed theirs via use of an intern. Thunes explained how the DNR completed the Tree Inventory/Canopy assessments, and that ECWRPC knew how to complete them; the assessments are a lot easier to complete than suggested by the name “Tree Inventory.” It was suggested SCN research who had updated theirs and potentially aggregate the information in the future, as the reports had been very interesting (and exciting) when they originally came out.

 Adjourn: At 4:18pm. The next meeting will be held December 7th in Neenah.

Topics for the next agenda: Website updates, 2018 SCN meeting schedule, Fox Cities Greenways seed money, and municipality tree inventory status/updates.

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